It’s Time For An Update

Two weeks flies by when you work from home while pregnant.  The morning routine includes waking up in a rush to relieve your full bladder then scuffling around to get your 7 year old ready for school with a packed lunch and completed homework.  Once she’s out of the door, the day becomes a blurr until 4PM when she arrives home from school.  Dinner, homework and bath time ends the night knowing you repeat this process all over again in the morning.  It’s all mundane, but it keeps me off of my feet which is what the doctor intentionally wants for me.  Yeah right- you can’t keep me from doing anything all day!  If you know me well enough, I can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes (unless I’m watching a Food Network/Cooking Channel program).

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Since my trip to the hospital 2 weeks ago, I’ve been trying my best to work and live life from my bed or couch while resting (horizontally) as much as possible.  Whenever I’m not resting, the baby will kick in odd places of my belly demanding I lie down for a bit.  Oddly enough, it makes a big difference to rest while baby calms down his/her kicks.  When I prep any meal of the day, I sit on a bar stool while listening to music or watching tv to keep my mind occupied.  My daughter has become my handy little helper as my belly continues to grow.  She helps me with chores around the house when really I’m just directing her to pick things up or get something for me while I’m sitting down.  I say to her, “Mommy can’t do certain things, so I need you to be a great big sister and help me.”  She usually follows my orders knowing she’ll get a nice reward afterwards.

I’ve become more aware of my body and what it’s saying especially when something doesn’t feel right.  If something bothers me or doesn’t feel right, I tell my husband which in turn he tells me to call the doctor if it gets worse.  My doctor has doubled the amount of hydroxyprogesterone that I take: I receive a shot weekly and insert suppositories daily.  During one of my doctor’s visits for my 17p shot, I was experiencing a rather sharp pain protruding out of my belly button.  The skin was very hard and I wasn’t sure if the baby was trying to come out or not.  It felt like inconsistent cramping and was hoping it wasn’t early signs of contractions.  I mentioned this to the nurse who was giving me my shot.  She said, “It’s the baby turning around; maybe it’s his/her head or butt that’s right on your belly button.”  She assured me that it was normal and felt relieved because the pain went away once I got home.  But still, I make sure to listen to baby and my body whenever anything feels wrong.

These third trimester feelings are all new to me since I didn’t go through this final stage with my daughter.  I try to stay in good spirits so that I don’t stress the baby and myself.  I thoroughly enjoy working from home because I get to spend more quality time with my husband.  We talk more about the baby and play around with potential names.  We finally finished our baby registry even though we won’t be having a baby shower.  My husband and I agreed that it’s important that I rest as much as possible.  He wants to make sure the baby makes it to 40 weeks.  He really has stepped up his game and putting me and the baby in front of everything he deals with.  I respect him more whenever we make decisions on any matter regarding me, the baby and our growing family.  He’s a great father to begin with and will become a better one once our little one makes his/her entrance into the world.

Wait You’re Sending Me Where?!

Oh man, yesterday’s post felt too good to be true [click here to read].  I was on cloud 9 after publishing my accomplishment to making it to my third trimester.  The baby has been healthy in my belly and has been actively kicking at odd hours of the day.  I’ve been feeling good- no cramping, distress, or any unforeseen symptoms as I enter my third trimester.  But how I feel may not be the same as how my body is acting.  Last night was my first “emergency” trip to be evaluated at the hospital.

Yesterday was another ordinary weekly routine to my doctor’s office where the nurse weighs me, tests my urine sample, and records my blood pressure before I see the ultrasound technician and doctor.  The technician takes a look at the baby plus measures my cervix via transvaginal ultrasound.  We both were in shock when the measurement of my cervix showed 1.8 cm on the screen.  She asked me if her eyes were playing with her and I said “no, I see the same number you see right now”.  Once the doctor saw me, she had a different tone of voice where she sounded very concerned and highly alert of the situation that has presented itself.  She told me I have to go to the hospital immediately for further monitoring of the baby where I could be experiencing contractions that I’m unaware of.  She also said I will receive additional medicine to prevent the baby from coming early.  Since I do have a history of premature delivery, she wants to make sure that this baby stays in me as long as possible.

I texted my husband a “911” message in which he went straight into “labor mode” and packed items that I would need in case I had to stay the night.  Once I arrived to the Antenatal Unit at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, I changed into a hospital gown and was hooked up to a baby monitor while filling out registration forms.  The Labor & Delivery doctor was expecting me and also practices at the OBGYN group I go to, so it was nice to see a familiar face.  He checked the baby monitor and could tell I wasn’t having contractions (that’s good news).  Bad news was that he prescribed more medication for me as if the baby was going to arrive in the upcoming days.  He administered a steroid which would help develop the baby’s lungs at a faster pace (meaning, when the baby comes, his/her lungs will be developed 2 weeks in advance).  In addition to my hydroxyprogesterone shots, I would also take the suppository version which has shown positive effects to preventing early deliveries.  Also, I’ve been given direct orders to start working from home.  The doctor doesn’t want me to be active at all and just take it easy at home.  It’s not necessarily bed ridden, but limit my activity to a minimum as much as possible.

I’m home now and am still in shock with what occurred last night.  The idea of being a mom who’s medical history includes multiple premature deliveries scares me.  Not only the steps to prevent the early deliveries scare me, but everything that comes after the birth is just a roller coaster ride that I’m not sure I’m ready for physically, emotionally and psychologically.  I find myself crying with such a heavy heart.  It’s draining to think that my body can’t handle pregnancy.  I sometimes ask myself, “Should my husband and I have just stopped after having one kid?”; “If I do delivery prematurely, is this punishment or a cruel joke that the Universe has bestowed upon me?”; “Am I worthy to bring a child into the world if complications come along with it?”  These are such harsh thoughts that have become my reality.  I honestly don’t know of anyone who has gone through this.  I think I need more than just my blog to share my emotional turmoil.  And, I’m not even speaking on my behalf; I can’t imagine what my husband is going through.

Our first premature delivery tested our relationship as friends and parents before we became husband and wife.  If I go into an early delivery the second time around, I think this pregnancy will test our strength and trust in each other knowing we’ve been through this before.  But we already have a child to worry about this time around.  My daughter is still shaken after seeing me at the hospital.  She was very concerned, but reminded her sibling to stay in mommy’s belly forever.  I’m hoping this little shake will pass so we can enjoy the joys of a third trimester pregnancy.  For now, all I can do is rest and take it easy.

Hello Third Trimester!

I made it 28 weeks pregnant: hello third trimester!  This may not sound like an important accomplishment, but this small milestone takes a special place in my heart.

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When I was pregnant with my daughter, my due date was February 11, 2009.  On the eve of November 20, 2008, I was experiencing cramps that were consistent (pretty much contractions).  My husband (then boyfriend at the time) was living in Florida and we would talk every night aimlessly about anything when really we just missed each others presence.  That night was no different except for the cramps which kept me up all night while on the phone with him.  I went to the bathroom and found blood in my urine.  He suggested I take an aspirin and call the doctor in the morning.  It wasn’t the best advice and thank goodness I didn’t listen to him.  I decided to call 911 and 30 minutes later, I was picked up by an ambulance and taken to the hospital that was a short 3 blocks away from my apartment.  I was taken into the emergency room and then quickly admitted into the hospital at 3 inches dialated.

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Between 2-7 AM, it was such a blur of frantic activity where multiple doctors and nurses talked to me about attempting to prevent an early delivery and the risks that could potentially occur if things don’t go smoothly.  I was all alone, by myself, throughout the night and had no one with me during this very emotional time.  I remember calling my parents telling them I was in the hospital and the doctors anticipated I would deliver my little angel within 24-48 hours.  I was hoping they’d be by my side within an hour because I was such a hot mess.  It wasn’t until 9AM they strolled into my room with big smiles knowing that they would be grandparents soon.  I was in constant communication with my husband and was relieved to find out he was on the next flight out of Florida to New Jersey.  I was slowly calming down from my nerves as the news spread among my family and friends and they started sending me their well wishes.  My husband landed at Newark Airport before 3PM and made it by my bedside as I was prompted for my first push around 4:30PM.  Less than 30 minutes later, I delivered a very tiny, but healthy, baby girl weighing 2 lbs 13 ounces and 15 inches in length.  She had her own medical team who took her vitals and prepped her for the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

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The hours and days after my delivery were filled with a lot of emotion and uncertainty.  It was tough to leave the hospital and head home to an empty apartment without my baby girl.  It took a while for me to accept what I couldn’t control which was leaving my daughter behind in the hospital.  But I was assured that she was being taken care of by the best nurses and doctors who wanted her to grow a little longer before heading home.  She stayed in the hospital for 2 months where my husband and I were constantly by her side in the NICU.  We shared stories, laughter and our concerns as she laid in her incubator hooked up to multiple life monitors.  She came home in January 2009 where parenting really began for my husband and me.  Our frequent trips to see doctors, specialists and therapists became a routine in which we became good friends with secretaries and security guards at hospitals and offices.  She achieved her developmental milestones with no worries, but at her own pace.  Once she started preschool, parenting became a bit tougher in helping her adjust to her new social environment and teach her the social norms of being with her piers and teachers.  As of today, my daughter is in first grade and loves school.  She excels in reading and math (just like her mommy) and has a mind of her own.

So how is this all relevant to me entering my third trimester?  When I found out I was pregnant with baby #2, my biggest worry was that I wouldn’t be able to carry  to full term.  I know that I’m being taken care of by my doctor in which I’ve been following his strict orders.  But, I can’t control what my body wants to do and I can’t control what baby wants to do too.  I’m happy to say that my little nugget is still growing in my belly.  I haven’t felt different (body wise) and the baby’s activities haven’t changed much.  There are days when the baby is constantly kicking for attention (or maybe his/her way of saying “get me out of here”), but nothing out of the ordinary.  The next 12 weeks will be my biggest adventure as a mom.  Since I didn’t go through this stage of pregnancy with my daughter, I really don’t know what to expect.  Besides the doctor’s visits, baby registry/shower planning, hospital registration and so forth, I’m very excited to continue this pregnancy journey knowing that baby is still inside of me.  Whether or not he/she decides to come tomorrow or 12 weeks from now, at least I can say I made it to my third trimester.